A high official of the independent Church of Scotland visited with Queen Elizabeth II at her Balmoral Castle days before she died.
The Right Rev. Doctor Iain Greenshields, 68, was a guest of the former queen after performing a sermon at a parish church. The moderator of the Church of Scotland described her as the “life and soul of things” and “full of fun” in the days he visited with her.
Greenshields had dinner Saturday and lunch Sunday with Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal just days before she died at her beloved Highland home Thursday, according to a Church of Scotland report.
“It was a fantastic visit,” Greenshields said. “Her memory was absolutely amazing and she was really full of fun. It came as a great shock to me when I heard she was gravely ill because she was in amazingly good form over the weekend.”
“She was the life and soul of things,” the church moderator continued. “She was speaking very personally to me about her time there way back when she was a child, she was talking about her horses from the past, naming them from 40 years ago, people’s names and places.”
“She was quite remarkable.”
The church officer said he and the former queen had a lively conversation where she seemed in very good spirits and displayed phenomenal recall of people and events from the distant past.
“She talked about her memories of Balmoral as a child, her father the king and the Church of Scotland, which she had a very fond affection for,” he said. “She asked about me, my ministry and my family and came across as a happy person and was very gracious.”
“It was a very engaging and thoroughly enjoyable experience.”
Britain’s monarch is not the supreme governor of the Church of Scotland as the ruler is in the Church of England, the Scottish church explains.
“The sovereign has the right to attend the General Assembly, but not to take part in its deliberations,” according to the Church of Scotland website. “The [Church of Scotland’s] status as the national Church in Scotland dates from 1690, when Parliament restored Scottish Presbyterianism, and is guaranteed under the Act of Union of Scotland and England of 1707.”
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